It must be something in the water of Chicago.  For the last few years, the city has grown a plethora of bands from all different genres worth checking out.  And here again is another, The Thin Cherries.  A product of Mark Lofgren and Steve Delisi’s talents and vision, this band mixes the best elements of straightforward rock, slight psychedelic overtones and the early ’80’s (think the melodic space feel of bands like Lush without the noise factor or The Sound and The Comsat Angels with their density).

“Uncountry” has all the aforementioned influences rolled into one highly intense and enjoyable track; hypnotic and enticing, it’s the perfect way to start this album and keep you interested.  “Twonty” has the extra added ingredient of a quasi-country twang in its psychedelic manner (listen to that swirling keyboard riff); “I And Julia” is wonderfully reminiscent of The Chameleons; the vocals are soft with on-point harmonies and the middle-eight of the song builds but doesn’t distract from the song’s framework – it works in a cyclical manner and the guitar solo is just right.  “Dorian Gray” is the obvious “single” or focus track and the elements are just right – a chugging acoustic guitar, an offsetting guitar upstroke and warmly chiming melody; “Not My Love” is another acoustic-driven piece and on this, the vocals sound very Marc Bolan-esque in a sweeter fashion than the late T. Rex frontman; “Oven Mitt” is a hazy, dreamy track and “Star Lounge” closes out the collection with a late-period Rain Parade feel – guitars galore; again, slightly psychedelic and full of life with its structure.

This is, indeed, a very fine bow in a year of so-so debut offerings.  And as I’m often wont to do, I’d love to hear where The Thin Cherries go from here.  Certainly, they can’t head anyplace but up.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

The Thin Cherries’ self-titled debut album is currently available

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